Whether you're dedicated to a regular yoga practice or a novice consider spending a few minutes each day working on these great yoga poses you can do at your desk.
Yoga has many health benefits. First, you give your body the opportunity to stretch, which can relieve the stress and fatigue of sitting behind a desk or squinting at a computer screen all day. Second, you maintain flexibility and burn a few calories without breaking the routine of your work day. You can execute these discreet poses by doing no more than loosening your tie or tucking your heels underneath your seat.
Combine the Cat and Cow poses to give your neck and shoulders a welcome stretch while you labor in front of your computer screen. Begin by sitting up straight in your chair, feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms so that you palms are flat on your desk or writing surface. Exhale and arch your back outward toward the spine of your chair. Straighten your back, inhale and arch your head backward, looking up toward the ceiling. Repeat periodically throughout your work day.
Shoulder rolls are another way to relieve fatigue during long stretches of working at your desk. Sit straight in your chair. Inhale and raise your right shoulder toward your right ear. Exhale and slowly drop your shoulder and roll it backward. Repeat the same motion with your left shoulder. Alternate each shoulder three times, then repeat the same motion with both shoulders.
Modify the shoulder roll by simply tilting your head toward your shoulder. Begin by tilting your head toward the right, then toward the left. Keep your head facing forward throughout the exercise. Hold the pose for five seconds on each side, and repeat the entire set five or 10 times during the day.
The Mountain Pose is a great way to lengthen your torso and relieve stress in your head, shoulders and neck. Sit upright in your chair, with your arms extends straight out and your palms facing away from your body. Raise your arms toward the ceiling and stretch with your palms facing the ceiling.
Many experts recommend getting up periodically when you work at a desk. These standing poses allow you to add a bit of disciplined movement to your stretch breaks. Stand by your desk with your arms by your sides. Inhale, place your hands on your hips and stretch upward toward the ceiling. Exhale and bend forward at the hip, stretching your arms so that the palms of your hand touch the floor. If you can't manage to stretch that far, fold your arms across your chest and hold your elbows as you bend. You should find that you can extend your body more with each bend. Take this exercise slowly to prevent getting dizzy.
While you're standing, do a set of office pushups. Stand straight with your arms extended in front of your body. Place your palms flat on your desk. Walk backward as far as you can comfortably manage while keeping your back straight. Perform fifteen pushups in this position, then walk forward to resume an upright standing position.
The lunge pose provides strengthening and stretching for your hamstrings and your gluteal muscles, resulting in sleek legs and a firm rear. Stand behind your desk chair with your hands gripping the back of the chair or the headrest. Step back with your left foot and leg and lower your entire body as far as you can comfortably manage while keeping your spine straight. Return to a standing position and alternate with your left foot and leg.
Another standing pose stretches your neck, shoulders, arms and upper back. Stand up straight as possible with your hands clasped behind your back. If that's too difficult, hold both ends of a cloth or scarf behind your back. Lift your arms as high as possible, and at the same time lift your torso. Hold the pose for 30 to 45 seconds, relax and let your arms fall down by your sides.
If you don't have time for a full pose, even one that you perform while seated, you can still give yourself a yoga break. Sit at your desk as you would to write or work at your computer. Fold your arms and place them flat on the desk. Then lower your torso so that your head is resting in your arms, just as you did when you were in primary school and your teacher instructed you to put your head on your desk.